In the tribal district of Palghar, located near Mumbai, the Resilient Foundation has taken a proactive approach to address the region’s vulnerability to different types of disasters. Understanding the critical role of schools in disaster risk reduction, the foundation launched the ‘Saksham’- a school program initiative aimed at building the capacity of schools and their stakeholders in disaster management.
The importance of the school safety program was emphasized during the MahaPECOnet in-person General Body meeting. The attendees unanimously agreed that implementing a school safety program was the need of the hour in reducing the risks associated with disasters. Motivated by this endorsement, the Resilient Foundation wasted no time and promptly organized a meeting with the Palghar District Disaster Management Authority to discuss the collaborative implementation of ‘Saksham’ in government schools on a larger scale.
Following the fruitful General Body meeting, the Resilient Foundation, in collaboration with the Integrated Tribal Development Department and MahaPECOnet, conducted a series of five training programs in December 2022. These programs were conducted in five tribal schools that were supported by The Resilience Initiative. Each training session spanned two days and involved the active participation of approximately 250 individuals, including school staff, administrators, and community members.
The training programs covered various aspects of disaster management, equipping the participants with essential knowledge and skills to effectively respond to emergencies. The sessions focused on areas such as disaster preparedness, response strategies, evacuation procedures, and first aid. The aim was to empower the schools and their stakeholders with the necessary tools to ensure the safety and well-being of students and staff during times of crisis.
As part of the Saksham School program, a remarkable fire demonstration was also organized on the school grounds, attracting over 2,000 students. The demonstration served as an opportunity for students to witness and understand fire safety measures first-hand, enabling them to develop a better understanding of potential hazards and appropriate responses. The event was not only educational but also highly engaging, fostering a culture of preparedness and resilience among the young learners.
The collaborative efforts between the Resilient Foundation, government institutions, and the tribal communities in Palghar have yielded significant progress in strengthening disaster preparedness in schools. The Saksham school program continues to make a positive impact, equipping schools and their stakeholders with the knowledge and skills required to mitigate the risks associated with disasters. By investing in the safety and resilience of Palghar’s educational institutions, we are building a more secure future for the students and communities in the region.